Brooklyn is an industrial and residential suburb on the Geelong Road, west of Footscray West, 11 km west of central Melbourne.
The original Brooklyn village reserve (1852) was where the Geelong Road (Princes Highway) crossed the Kororoit Creek. The name, however, does not appear to have arisen until the 1880s, by when a landholder, James Cherry, built Brooklyn Lodge. The locality was also marked by the Guiding Star and the Half Moon hotels (the former still standing and the latter replaced by a caravan park).
From its beginning Brooklyn was a small agricultural township (grazing and hay making) on the creek, which was the border between Braybrook and Wyndham shires (that is, Sunshine and Werribee municipalities). The township had a post office, school (1882) and the hotel in the 1890s. Brooklyn was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:
The school closed in 1919. Within 20 years Brooklyn’s industrial potential, in addition to quarrying, was to be realised. Large abattoirs and meat processing plants were opened (Ralphs, Borthwicks and Smorgons), and the pig and calf market was moved from Flemington Road, Parkville (the Royal Melbourne hospital site) to Brooklyn in 1938. Ready Mixed Concrete opened a plant in 1945, supplying all material for the main runway at the Essendon Aerodrome.
By the early postwar years a residential subdivision was laid out in a wedge between the present Westgate Freeway and Princes Highway, east of Kororoit Creek. A migrant hostel brought on the construction of a new primary school in 1953, and the enrolment reached about 750 pupils in six years. The Brooklyn West (renamed Altona Gate) school was opened in 1960. The closure of the hostel for family accommodation in 1967 and the loss of houses for construction of the Westgate Freeway greatly reduced the local population, and the school closed. The small Catholic Annunciation school (c1958) continues.
In 1959 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works began construction of a trunk sewer from Brooklyn to Werribee (Metropolitan Farm), and the Brooklyn pumping station replaced the one at Spotswood. The trunk is 55 metres below ground level and is covered by a linear public reserve through the residential area.
There is a small shopping area in Millers Road, a kindergarten and a community hall. The site of Brooklyn Lodge beside the Kororoit Creek was a tip before becoming the Urban Forest Reserve. The tip is now further north in an old quarry. Over half of Brooklyn is north of the Princes Highway, and is industrial. Brooklyn’s crossing place at the creek is remembered by a heritage listed bridge (1863), south of the Princes Highway. Air quality and environmental concerns have become increasingly evident across the suburb.
Brooklyn’s census populations have been:
At the 2011 census, English was the language spoken at home by 50.2% of residents (Australia 78.5%), Vietnamese by 6.3% (Victoria 1.6%) and Italian by 6.3% (Victoria 2.3%). The median income of residents was 97% of the Victorian median in 2011. In the 2006 census it was 79%.